New Drugs for Rheumatoid Arthritis Coming Down the Pipeline

There are many new drugs that are being tested now and some will be up for FDA approval next year. Many are still in clinical trials. That means researchers are still testing them to see if they work well to control inflammation, arthritis symptoms, and disease activity; to make sure they are safe for you to take; and to make sure that they don’t have side effects that would outweigh the possible health benefits of the drug.

Clinical trials happen in hospitals, clinics, universities, and even in your doctor’s office. Patients like you can take part in clinical trials if you meet the qualifications the researchers need to test the drug.

This information is part of CreakyJoints’ comprehensive guide for patients living with rheumatoid arthritis. Learn more or download Raising the Voice of Patients: A Patient’s Guide to Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

There are four phases of clinical trials for a drug:

  • Phase I Clinical Trial: A new drug is tested on a very small group of patients to see if it’s safe, how much dosage of the drug is needed to work effectively, and the side effects the drug may cause.
  • Phase II Clinical Trial: The new drug is then tested on a larger group of patients to make sure it is effective and safe.
  • Phase III Clinical Trial: The drug is given to much larger groups of patients to further ensure it’s safe and effective in different situations, to look for side effects, to compare it to other drugs that are available for the same condition, and to gather any information that will be needed so the drug can be safely given.
  • Phase IV Clinical Trial: After the drug is approved and available for prescription, or on the market, more trials are done to test its long-term effectiveness, possible side effects, or how it works in different patient groups.

There are several additional JAK inhibitors still in clinical trials and, if they’re approved by the FDA, will one day be available for prescription for RA. Not all of them have specific names yet, but they may soon have them. If they’re approved, each drug will have a new “brand” name — which is the name with the ® after it.

RA drugs in Phase III Clinical Trials (as of October 2016):

  • Baricitinib
  • Filgotinib
  • Peficitinib
  • ABT-494

RA drugs in Phase II Clinical Trials (as of October 2016):

  • Decernotinib
  • INCB-039110

Additional clinical trials may be available. For a complete list of clinical trials, including eligibility information from the individual sponsors of the clinical trials, go to: http://www.ClinicalTrials.gov

RAISE YOUR VOICE: Patients just like you take part in clinical trials of arthritis treatments, including drugs not yet available to the public. These trials can help rheumatologists and drug manufacturers learn more about these treatments, including their effectiveness and possible side effects. If you’re curious about clinical trials and whether they may be right for you, ask your rheumatologist. He or she may be conducting clinical trials or know of current trials looking for patients like you. You may also learn more about current RA clinical trials at www.clinicaltrials.gov, or see advertisements online, and in major magazines and newspapers. Ask about all the possible risks of any clinical trial before you proceed, and also ask about any costs you may have to take on to be in a trial, including travel or time away from work.